Another promising star’s career is likely to succumb to the UFC drug ban. The list of banned fighters continues to grow ever since the UFC rolled out its anti-drug program under US Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) leadership. This time, it is flyweight fighter Matheus Nicolau who failed to clear the out-of-competition test before his scheduled match against Ukla Sasaki on November 19 in Sao Paulo.
Matheus Nicolau, a promising Brazilian professional fighter, had an unbeaten two-match record in UFC, before being red-flagged for violating USADA guidelines on doping. He last fought in the UFC-The Ultimate Fighter Finale 23 Final against John Moraga on July 8, 2016. In a split decision, he won the match.
Nicolau, at 23, is probably the youngest fighter to be suspended by UFC. His sample was collected on October 13, 2016. For now, UFC has not made any announcement on the match with Sasaki in Sao Paulo. The organizers are yet to find a replacement for Nicolau.
The UFC currently has over 500 professional and Pro-Exhibition fighters on its roster, and since July 2015, all the fighters have to necessarily comply with the USADA guidelines. The step was taken to commit to UFC’s image as a growing popular professional sporting event. The tests are conducted by UFC in an unannounced manner, all-year round. Blood, oral and urine samples are collected without notice. Maybe that’s why the young Brazilian was caught unawares in the UFC drug test.
For now, the possibility of the ban is obvious, but the duration for which Nicolau would be out of the circuit remains a speculation. Since this is his first offense, he could be serving up to 4 years of the ban. In recent months, fighters like BJ Penn, Felipe Oliveri, Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz, Frank Mir and Brock Lesner have all tested positive for banned substances.
For now, Nicolau is awaiting his results management report and UFC drug ban status.
Image courtesy: Matheus Nicolau/ Twitter